Austrian School scholars gather for student conference

Grove City College welcomes leading lights and rising stars of the influential Austrian school of economics to campus this week.

The 14th annual Austrian Student Scholars Conference kicks off Friday, Feb.16, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 17 on campus. Coordinated by Dr. Jeffrey M. Herbener, professor and chair of the Department of Economics and Sociology, the conference offers undergraduates the opportunity to present their work for review by their peers and leading Austrian scholars. 

The conference also promotes an approach that logically examines human action to reach universal economic truths as espoused by giants in the field such as Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard and Hans Sennholz, a champion of the school who taught economics at Grove City College for more than three decades.

Students from across the country and speakers from around the world come to Grove City College for the annual meeting. This year’s keynote speakers are:

  • G.P. Manish, associate professor of economics and a member of the Manuel H. Johnson Center of Political Economy at Troy (Ala.) University and the recipient of several Mises Institute prizes in political economy, will deliver the Hans Sennholz Memorial Lecture, “Economic Calculation and the Vertical Division of Labor: An Austrian Perspective on Development Economics,” at 7 p.m. Friday in Sticht Lecture Hall of the Hall ofArts and Letters on campus.
  • Dr. Guido Hülsmann, senior fellow of the Mises Institute, professor at Université d'Angers, France, and author of “Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism” and “The Ethics of Money Production,” will deliver the Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture, “The Culture of Liquidity,” at 1:15 p.m. Saturday in the Great Room of Breen Student Union on campus.

The bulk of the conference centers on student research in the Austrian vein. On Saturday, Grove City College faculty will direct sessions where students present their work on a variety of subjects, including: the promise of private solutions; cryptocurrency; money, capital, and business cycles; and potent and impotent economic reasoning. Seventeen students have submitted work. As well as Grove City College, student scholars are visiting from Baruch College, Loyola University, Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University, Ferris State University, George Mason University and British Columbia. 

Their work is in the running for three Thomas E. Woods Prizes for best student papers. The award winners will be announced on Saturday evening. 

The conference concludes with a screening of “The Bubble,” a documentary detailing the foresight of Austrian economists and libertarian thinkers leading up to recent financial crises, at 7 p.m. in Sticht Lecture Hall. The complete schedule is available here.  

It is fitting that the conference is held annually at Grove City College, which is known as the world’s leading undergraduate institution for the study of Austrian School economics. The tradition dates back to 1956, when Sennholz, a young protégé of Mises, the dean of Austrian School economists, was hired to head the economics department. Thousands of students were introduced to the Austrian School by Sennholz. Since 1978, the College has been the permanent home of Mises’ papers and the 20,000-page archive has been the source of four books of his previously unpublished manuscripts.

Austrian School scholars gather for student conference

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